Proposal Title

Head to Head: The Role of Competition in Undergraduate Education

Session Type

Poster

Room

PAB Atrium

Start Date

9-7-2013 5:30 PM

Keywords

competition, academic tournament

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

Opponents argue that academic competition increases student anxiety and divides their attention. Yet, little evidence concerning the application of academic game style competition exists. Could game-like competition in the classroom be a viable and beneficial method of engaging students? This study aims to sample the effects of anonymous peer competition and performance using an e-classroom response system (ERS). Students (n= 136) were recruited from an undergraduate anatomy course. Using a crossover design, students were exposed to two competitive treatments, a tournament with many competitive elements and a quiz with few competitive elements. Students were assessed using qualitative surveys, a baseline anatomy knowledge quiz and their course grades. Preliminary data indicates a positive student response toward the use of competitive ERS in education. Approximately 77% of students found the competitive tournament to be engaging. Additionally, 62% reported enjoying the incorporation of competitive elements into their undergraduate anatomy course. We hypothesize that academic competition among peers in an online tournament setting encourages increased familiarization with lecture material, resulting in improved exam performance. Additionally, we believe that knowledge of personal tournament rank will influence a student’s scholarly motivation and study habits prior to examination.

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Jul 9th, 5:30 PM

Head to Head: The Role of Competition in Undergraduate Education

PAB Atrium

Opponents argue that academic competition increases student anxiety and divides their attention. Yet, little evidence concerning the application of academic game style competition exists. Could game-like competition in the classroom be a viable and beneficial method of engaging students? This study aims to sample the effects of anonymous peer competition and performance using an e-classroom response system (ERS). Students (n= 136) were recruited from an undergraduate anatomy course. Using a crossover design, students were exposed to two competitive treatments, a tournament with many competitive elements and a quiz with few competitive elements. Students were assessed using qualitative surveys, a baseline anatomy knowledge quiz and their course grades. Preliminary data indicates a positive student response toward the use of competitive ERS in education. Approximately 77% of students found the competitive tournament to be engaging. Additionally, 62% reported enjoying the incorporation of competitive elements into their undergraduate anatomy course. We hypothesize that academic competition among peers in an online tournament setting encourages increased familiarization with lecture material, resulting in improved exam performance. Additionally, we believe that knowledge of personal tournament rank will influence a student’s scholarly motivation and study habits prior to examination.